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Parents caring for the parent support thread

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Replies to: Parents caring for the parent support thread

  • LasMaLasMa Registered User Posts: 10,847 Senior Member
    "Helicopter daughter" -- yep, that's me too!

    I REALLY like the idea of a sub-forum. This subject comes up so regularly, but there are so many separate issues that it might be hard to keep track of them all on one long thread. (Mods... ;) ).
  • worknprogress2worknprogress2 Registered User Posts: 1,355 Senior Member
    POA

    Make sure you have original copy handy or better yet, take with you to every dr appointment and make sure it is recorded. Same with banks. It is such a nuisance to scramble and provide documentation when all h$ll is breaking loose.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    Timely indeed! We thought my father was doing fine...he's been slowly planning on moving closer to one of us for the past couple of years, but has been dragging his feet. Then I got a phone call from the bank a couple of weeks ago! They noticed some bizarre debits in his bank account. Yup, scammers had gotten him involved in some "investment" scheme.

    I had to high tail it to HI and try to sort out his accounts. What a mess...not only was his bank account compromised, but 3 of his credit cards were hit. And he had paid someone almost $400 dollars to fix his 10 year old computer. This from a guy who has been pretty sharp with money his whole life.

    We insisted that he quit dragging his feet and put his place up for sale immediately. He's now staying with me so that I can keep an eye on him while the contractors are remodeling.

    YIKES!
  • mamitamamita Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    My husband is going through this with his dad who is currently in skilled nursing rehabbing from a fall. He is 89 and insisted on living alone, with help for cleaning. This is about the 4th hospitalization after various and sundry medical crises. He has at times recuperated at our home about 60 miles from his home. He is now agreeing that he can no longer live alone and we are looking at assisted living places (again), but now in his area. He has decided that he does not want to move near us or my H's sib, but he understandably gets grouchy when we cannot visit daily. My own parents passed away in their 50s and 60s, which is sad and hard in its own way, but so is dealing with the decline of an elderly person and one's own limits in helping them, when they are of sound mind but not making sound choices. I am trying to be a patient wife around this; I tend to have a very good relationship with FIL, as he has been the only parent figure in my life for oh so many years.
  • LasMaLasMa Registered User Posts: 10,847 Senior Member
    Just today, we have again the eternal issue of when to take the car keys away. This gentleman's family didn't do it soon enough:

    100-year-old driver backs into crowd, injures 11 near L.A. school
  • RobDRobD Registered User Posts: 5,061 Senior Member
    Welcome to my life :) Mom is 82, had a stroke 10 years ago, and has an unusual medical condition that keeps things interesting. Add in the fact that she thinks taking medication is a character weakness, yet she tells the doctors that she takes them as prescribed. Good news is that medical care here vs. where we used to live is stellar: all her doctors are electronically connected so they all see what is currently going on with the hematologist, pulmonary specialist, cardiologist, dentist, and geriatric specialist. Other good news is that since I'm an only child, there's no grey area about who's taking care of what and all the doctors know me. I used to have this fantasy that if I'd had siblings then we could have equitably split up the load, but watching my friends go through the same stuff has shown me that the sibling issue can add another layer of aggravation. Bad news is that my mom & I don't see eye to eye and I can't put her in a time out ;) Thankfully she still lives in her own apt. and manages with only a monthly housekeeper.

    My in laws are now in FL, with us in TN and other siblings in NJ. MIL is dealing with some type of memory issue, which either isn't being addressed/diagnosed correctly or FIL isn't sharing details. I'd love to go down & take the bull by the horns and get her to the right kind of doctors, but it's not my mom. DH is trying to gently nudge FIL from a distance, and SILs just get annoyed because MIL keeps repeating herself. Sigh. They are much younger than my mom & it's gonna be a mess.

    Hugs to all dealing with this. My friends & I have a running list of things to remember for the "last house" so that we can spare our kiddos some of the avoidable annoyances that go along with having aging parents.
  • shellfellshellfell Registered User Posts: 2,575 Senior Member
    DH and I have been through this with my FIL, who died last year, and my mother who's in a nursing home.

    FIL didn't want to give up his freedom, but was not coping well living by himself. SIL lived nearby and checked in on him frequently; DH and BIL visited him as often as they could. It took awhile to convince him to give up driving, but he eventually did. DH and his siblings didn't feel like they could be forceful with their father about what kind of living situation was in his best interest until it was too late. He died within weeks of agreeing to go into assisted living.

    I'm an only child, so dealing with my mother has been totally up to me. There's noone to share the stress and decision-making with, but there's also noone to disagree with about that decision-making. I've given my mother fewer choices about what's best. When she first started developing dementia, I knew she needed to live closer to me. Even though she blamed me for ruining her life, I moved her to an assisted living facility closer to me. We visited a few facilities, so she was able to choose the one she preferred. When she was admitted to a nursing home, she wasn't happy about that either, but she's adjusted to it. The best thing I was told while making that decision was by the nurse at the assistedlliving facility who reminded me that it was OK to consider myself in the decison-making. Putting her in the nursing home was not only a good decision for her, but also for me.

    Both of my sons have seen all we've gone through with our parents. I hope they've learned the importance of family.
  • momsquadmomsquad Registered User Posts: 994 Member
    Has anyone tried Skype with an elderly parent? Mom is 86, and in pretty good health. Her major complaint now is loneliness, with many friends gone or in assisted care. She doesn't want to leave her home, which means she won't have the social stimulus from an assisted care living center. She has an iMac, so I'm thinking of setting up Skype on the next visit. We would call her, so she would only need to click on the green "answer call" icon to complete the call. Personally I prefer a phone call to a video chat, but others tell me the video feels much more like a real "visit". We are 3 hours away, so don't get there in person more than once a month.
  • PhotoOpPhotoOp Registered User Posts: 1,194 Senior Member
    I'm personally finding difficulty in being the in-law (or out-law as it may be). My husband isn't a caregiver type so his attitude is to let his parents deal with their problems themselves until they ask for help and then he helps. But like someone above said - I don't think they will always ask for help. I think they need it but they aren't asking. There is too much pride all around and the relationship between DH/myself and my in-laws has not always been good. It's a quandry.

    They seem ok now but I know it won't last. They have a gigantic house with stairs everywhere and we have a tiny house. I told my DH that when the time comes I think we should move into their house with them instead of vice versa, since we have no room for extra people (and pets). But then we'll look like we're trying to pull something to get their gigantic house for ourselves. I don't want a gigantic house with stairs everywhere as I get older. And they bought this as their retirement house!
  • arisamparisamp Registered User Posts: 1,289 Senior Member
    momsquad - we've used skype with parents, with varying degrees of success. If everything works, it is great.

    My parents are thousands of miles away, in another country. H only had his mom and she too passed away four years ago. When she fell sick (diagnosed with cancer), H was down there for over a month helping her with everything. Fortunately for us, BIL who is single, just willingly relocated to stay with his mom and help her.

    I was down there for three weeks, twice this past summer. First time around, mom was just sick - took a while to figure out what was wrong. She was slowly recovering when she fell and broke her hip. Now, she's on the mend from that - albeit slowly. My brother is there and is bearing the brunt of the calls when one of them is sick, but this isn't easy.
    We have a full-time nurse and a cook at home to help out.
  • worknprogress2worknprogress2 Registered User Posts: 1,355 Senior Member
    Took mom for a third visit to the assisted living apartment today. She is trying to be a good sport but i know she is unhappy about the move. The main reason for the move is because if her dementia and I woke up last night with my heart racing thinking about how confusing the move will be. Now she walks to visit dad in skilled nursing, but I am afraid she will head back to her old apartment when she moves.

    I practiced with her multiple times today - i have til next Wed to retrain her.

    Like I said - helicopter daughter!!
  • MidwestParentMidwestParent Registered User Posts: 852 Member
    WNP2 - How life does go in circles. I remember walking my daughters to their kindergarten classroom so they would know the way. Then, going to the BIG high school to help them find their classes before school started, and finally going from building to building on their college campuses so they would feel comfortable on the first day of classes. If needed, I hope they will help me 'find my way' as you are helping your mother.

    A few months ago a lady moved to the assisted care facility where my mother lives, who has mild to moderate dementia. Her 50-something son stayed with her all day her first day, through all three meals, participating in all the activities that day. I remember thinking what a kind, loving thing that was to do.

    Wishing you much success as your mother learns her new path!
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,573 Senior Member
    How life does go in circles
    my brother and I were saying the exact same when we were looking at care homes for my Mum. We were both sent to boarding school as kids because my Dad's job took him to countries when there weren't International schools back in those days. It reminded us of my Mum searching for boarding schools for us. Then they told us we needed labels for her clothes (for laundry purposes) and that just brought back even more memories. At least she doesn't have to wear a uniform. Sigh.
  • shellfellshellfell Registered User Posts: 2,575 Senior Member
    After my mother had been in assisted living for several years in a place about 30-60 minutes away, depending on traffic, 2 new facilities opened minutes away from me. I decided that, altho it would be infinitely more convenient to have her closer, it would be confusing for her to be in new apartment with new staff, activities and routines. She remained in that assisted living facility further away until she went to a nursing home.
  • FlyMeToTheMoonFlyMeToTheMoon Registered User Posts: 2,560 Senior Member
    WNP2, I hope the move goes well. Call me if you need help. And, yes, we need to chat. I sent you an email awhile back but those dates are probably obsolete by now. When the dust settles, just let me know.

    To the rest of you, WNP2 had warned me that once my parents moved into a retirement community, I could end up having to make more decisions than I was already complaining about with regards to selling their home and property. I listened politely, but I knew she was wrong. Oops! She was right!

    It really helps to read about the thought processes others have gone through. This is a great self-help group.
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